Admittedly, I'm a pretty voracious reader. So before I even set foot on Mount Rainier I read as much as I possibly could about mountaineering and climbing. That, inevitably, led to many interesting outdoor adventures and instruction books. For the last 20 years I have been in search of a first edition of "Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills" to add to my collection. Last week I was able to finally secure a copy and I could not be more excited!
Anyone else have an outdoor book collection they are willing to share with the community?
OK bibliophiles, here's my first offering: a first edition of No Picnic on My. Kenya, by Felice Benuzzi. I found this one at the famous Outdoor Gear Exchange in Burlington, VT.
The book is a nonfiction account of Italian prisoners in a WWII camp run by the British. From behind the wire, they can see Mt Kenya in the distance. They quietly assemble some food and improvised equipment and break out of camp to climb the mountain.
Here's another first edition. This one is another nonfiction account. A British journalist is sent on a last minute assignment to cover an attempt to climb Mt Everest in 1953. Hmmm...
Did you know that Ralph Izzard served in British Intelligence during World War II under Ian Fleming? The card game in Casino Royale with James Bond was based on Ralph Izzard playing cards with Nazi agents in a casino in Brazil!!!
From one of his many obituaries online: "His tour of duty took place under the command of Ian Fleming, who based elements of his first novel Casino Royale and its protagonist James Bond on Lieutenant Commander Izzard and a card game in which he found himself playing poker against covert Nazi intelligence agents at a casino in Pernambuco, Brazil."
My mind is blown.
I just wanted to let you know that I ordered a copy of this today! Thanks for the recommendation!
I got my copy of this in the mail today. Turns out I got a first edition! A discontinued copy from the Alameda County Library to a used bookseller to me. I’m looking forward to reading it and writing up a book report for @Philreedshikes!
I wasn’t sure if we’re talking about the Pope, the dictionary, or Ralph Izzard or James Bond skiing on the cliffs above Murren
Happy reading, John! I'm on the lookout for a few good books to read myself. I want a good narrative - probably nonfiction, but a novel would be OK. Something outdoorsy or badass.
Have you ever read 'Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why' by Laurence Gonzales? I highly recommend it. It was one of the first 'outdoors' books I ever read and I have come back to read it multiple times over the years. It is a fascinating look into how your brain impacts your ability to get out (or not) of a tough situation. Also, I highly recommend reading the books centered around one of the most controversial climbing disasters on Denali in 1967 where 7 climbers were lost in a terrible storm. The two most widely available are:
'Forever on the Mountain' by James Tabor
'Denali's Howl' by Andy Hall
But there are a couple of more as well: 'White Winds' by Joe Wilcox (the leader of the fated expedition), 'The Hall of the Mountain King' by Howard Snyder (yours for only $768.57 on Amazon right now!), and 'Should I Not Return' by Jeffrey T. Babcock (Available on Kindle). Here's a link to a National Geographic interview with Andy Hall about his book (you may need to enter an email to get access). Andy Hall was the son of the park superintendent at the time of the disaster. @hikermor, your comment on the thread about the rescue on Mt Rainier made me just realize that this event happened the year you joined REI. Do you have any recollection hearing about the Denali tragedy? I have no idea how widespread the mountaineering world was reported on at the time. Edit: *I just realized my math was incorrect and you stated you joined 47 years ago. The article I was reading said the disaster was 47 years ago but the article was from 2014. Apologies!*
If you get a chance to read some of them let me know what you think!
These are some great additions to the conversation, I can't wait to get my hands on some copies and read them!